Monday, May 27, 2013

Francais, puking, the atonement, and ribs

WHAT UP!!!!!
So, awesome week. I'm losing it here and I really can't remember any birthdays other than THE BEST DAD'S EVER!!! So I apologize if I'm forgetting anyone, but hey, I like my daddy better than you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PIPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!! You old man:') Wish I was there to make jokes about your white hair, but know I'll be killing myself all day with my hilarious jokes I make up in my head throughout lessons and such. LOVE YOU!
And Elder Savas... Good freakin luck in Korea!!!!! Give Quinn a good hug for me and pretend I'm there in the middle of it.
Quote of the week now. There were two really good ones that I couldn't choose between, so I'll just do both.
1. Elder Nzojibwami--a conversation I had with him in French, after I just told him how hungry I was: "(laughing) Soeur Lewis, tu es un peu bizarre....! Tu auras la chance de manger beaucoup de nourriture chez les Calls'!"
2. Sister Hart--I refuse to give context for this one: "I feel like we should go back to the casino."
Hahahaha my life is great.
This week was a week of a lot of firsts:
1. My first investigator(s) came to church. Isabelle* and the Choret* family. I was so happy.
2. I played the organ in church for the first time. Sigh. And the regular organist is about to move, they better not get any ideas here.
3. I said my first prayer in French. Poor Heavenly Father was probably confused by my weak verb conjugations.
4. I listened to sacrament meeting en fran├žais for the first time. I actually understood a lot, so that was a pleasant surprise.
5. I went to St. John for the first time! It is beautiful there, and people there have great teeth, but I was TOO happy to be back in Riverview. Sister Hart said that it was like I was getting out of jail when I came home. "Look at the river! It is so beautiful! Oh my gosh, I missed Riverview soooo much. Oh I love Riverview. Let's baptize that man from Moncton! I love Riverview! I missed you so much, Moncton!"
Okay, a lot of people have been asking about the real status of my French haha... Okay, I'll be honest, I get stage fright whenever someone expects me to respond in French, and since just about everyone here knows English anyway, I always chicken out and respond to their French in English. So that's something I'll need to work on. On the other hand, I've been studying my tail off. Reading the BoM from the beginning in French out loud and referring to the English BoM whenever there's a word I don't know. I made French flash cards, so that's nice. I also prayed in French finally, so I can say a little bit, but the prayers are always really short. On the other hand, it's really, really hard to teach myself French. I don't have a companion to help me with it, and I didn't spend 6-12 weeks in the MTC learning it. I'm relying on a few years of high school French, which is pretty weak. So it's a little discouraging, and I found out I'm seriously the most qualified French-speaking Sister here, which is overwhelming and stressful, but I'm working really hard and hey, at least I can understand it! And now I can pray for help speaking French IN French, so heh heh heh, I'm awesome.
I was so happy when Sunday morning I woke up without a cough or a headache! But Elder Waldie's been really sick, and I guess my weak stomach was around him too much, and both the companionships in Moncton ended up spending all Sunday afternoon and evening in our apartments while Elder and Sister Call ran around bringing us gingerale for medicinal purposes... What sweethearts. We're spoiled. I haven't thrown up yet, but I really hope I can start eating again because sleeping in the apartment for 13 hours instead of getting 6 less active visits in was a blast... Not. Haha.
In Preach My Gospel, we're promised that as our understanding of the Atonement increases, so will our desire to share the gospel. And I guess if you know me really well, I'm almost manipulative when it comes to getting something I want really bad. If I want it badly enough, it'll happen no matter what. And I want to share the gospel and find more investigators, but I think if I had a real, pure desire for it, I would kick into gear and get it done. Obviously, even though I want all these things really badly, I don't want it enough, otherwise I would've found a way by now. So I've been studying the atonement a lot so that as my understanding of it increases, my desire to share the gospel will as well. Doctrine and Covenants 16... Wow. Go read it and when you get to the last verse, read it over again and ponder. That is so powerful. And Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-19? WOW. Christ went through more than any person has ever gone through, and he still gives all glory to God. And in Mark, I was reading about the atonement obviously, and I got to the part where he says, "Abba, Father,..." and I remembered that Elder Holland gave a talk once and he explains that "Abba" is the equivalent of "Daddy" (go look it up in the Bible Dictionary too). How profound is it that through Christ's most difficult hour, he calls on his Father and says, "Daddy, Father." He doesn't have a formal relationship with Heavenly Father: he has a personal, real, deep relationship with Him. I feel like I've worked really hard on my relationship with God for a long time, and I feel like I definitely know Him a little. But I'd like to get to the point where I know He is my Father so perfectly that I could say, "Abba, Father, help me" through the difficult times.
Every Saturday now, we have dinner with the Choret family. Last Saturday was hot wings (that's when I cried from the spice) and this past Saturday was RIBS!!! So delicious. Ryan put out some hot sauce and I was going to town with the tears. But I had to accept every challenge, so I ate through the pain haha! It was really funny actually. One day I will be a man when it comes to spice. This week we're having steak... Bless my soul.
It was a really cool night because the people who were there were Sister Choret (Rachel), Ryan, their sons Lawrence (12) and Benjamin (8), Elder and Sister Call, Elders Nzojibwami and Waldie, and Sister Hart and me. We're working really hard on getting the Spirit into the home whenever we go over. So even though we can't bring up the gospel when we're there (except when Sister Hart and I teach the boys), we've started singing songs at the end of the meal. This time we sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee" and holy cow. The Spirit was sooooo strong. We didn't know it before we started, but it turns out all 6 of us missionaries are musical and singers haha, so it was surprising when we began singing and all these amazing harmonies came out of nowhere... It was incredible. When we finished, there wasn't a way you could deny it. The Spirit was thick. You could feel it. It was amazing.
And some bad news now... Elder Nzojibwami's getting transfered tomorrow morning:,( He's goin' to Bathurst, where he spent the first 6 months of his mission before coming to Dieppe for about 2 months. We're all REALLY sad (and I don't know how my French will react to this--he's the one who answered all my French quesions and translated Sacrament meeting!), so all the young missionaries from the district are together today--the Elders from Amherst came over and we're going to spend the day together. It's kind of a bummer because Elder Waldie, Elder Nzojibwami, Sister Hart, and I were going to go to Bay of Fundy (wink wink nudge nudge Baba, BitBit, Daddy...) next week or the next, but now our zone leader won't be there! So it's pretty sad. Sister Hart and I wrote him a song to the tune of "I Will Survive" so he'll have something to remember us by hahaha.
Story time. Every Friday, we have missionary coordination meeting at the church. It's with the Dieppe Elders, the Riverview Sisters, Elder Call, and the ward mission leader (who is INCREDIBLE), Brother Despres. And as a sidenote, I hate saying his name, because it's obviously a French name, and he and his family are all French speakers, but everyone in Riverview Americanize (Canadianize) it and just pronounce it Dih-pray. So I don't even know, I wish I could call him by his first name all the time, my life is so hard. Anyway, at the meeting I was feeling all great because I was wearing my hair down for the first time since being in the field, and I was having a happy day, and I was laughing and smiling and looking like a psycho. Well, after the meeting, we went out to the car and I saw my reflection... NOOOOOOOOoooooooo! I forgot about the dang humidity here! People, it was Mufasa hair. It was horrible. I was laughing so hard at what an idiot I must've looked like through the whole meeting--my hair was HUGE!!! It was so great. I love my life. It's in a Mufasa ponytail this morning, and shall be forever after.
Alright. This is a lame e-mail. But I love the work, I miss you all, the gospel's true! Hey, God speed:) Promise next week will be more spiritual haha.
Love you!!!!!
Sister L

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